web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



A Famed Political Pundit’s Musical Side: An Interview with Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

That tradition, though, really isn’t around that much anymore. I have always wanted to have other people experience what I did when I was eight, nine, and ten. So for me, this is a labor of love. It has nothing to do with my work as a political commentator. It’s purely an expression of my own Jewish experience and the desire to see it shared by others.

Do you find that your Jewish background and upbringing affect your work as a political commentator?

Well, I’m very wary of people who draw lines from the Bible to political platforms, but clearly my worldview is shaped by my upbringing and awareness of Jewish culture, life, and history. You can see it, for example, when it comes to my writing about Israel. It’s very heavily influenced by the fact that I know it rather well and studied the history. If you had a Jewish upbringing like I did – I went to Hebrew Day School and was raised in a Modern Orthodox home – it will inevitably shape your life and perspective on the world.

The other impact it had is that I studied Talmud very intensively during my school years, and I think that kind of critical textual thinking, which is the essence of Talmudic study, has carried over into the way I look at and interpret events, documents, Supreme Court decisions – all the things I deal with as a commentator.

You once worked as a speechwriter for the liberal Walter Mondale. How did you go from that to becoming one of America’s most prominent conservative columnists?

I was young once. You know Churchill’s quote: If you’re not a socialist when you’re 20, you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative when you’re 50, you have no head.

Was there a particular event or series of events that changed your political views?

Well, I’ve always been pretty hardheaded on foreign policy. So on foreign policy I didn’t change much; I’d say the Democratic Party did.

On domestic policy, I was a Great Society believer until the empirical evidence of the damage it did began to come in during the 1980s. As a former physician and having done some science, I am very open to empirical evidence. I don’t doubt the good intentions of Great Society liberalism, but I’m firmly convinced that the empirical evidence shows that this is the wrong way to go about helping people. That led to a transformation of my views.

Many conservatives have been wringing their hands since Governor Romney’s defeat on November 6. What is your take? Why did he lose?

A lot of reasons, but the main one, I think, is that he decided to run purely on economic conditions. It was a very good strategy in 2011, but the economy improved enough, or at least the perception is that it had improved enough, that it proved to be a losing bet.

Romney didn’t campaign very much on the difference in political philosophies. I think if you run on Obama’s left liberalism versus conservatism the way potential 2016 candidates Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, or Bobby Jindal might have run, conservatives win. The proof is the 2010 midterm elections, which were purely ideological [and in which Republicans performed well]. To the extent Republicans could have made 2012 like 2010, they would’ve won.

But Romney, for all his sincerity – and I think he’s a very good man and would’ve made a very good president – was simply not the best to make the conservative case. He spoke it like a second language, and that, I think, was a major problem. And then, at the very end when he had a scandal – Benghazi – which he could’ve really hit Obama hard with in the third debate, he just walked away from it. The press ignored it, Obama ignored it, and then Romney’s momentum was stopped by Hurricane Sandy, and that was it. He fell short.

So you don’t agree, then, with some conservatives who fear they have lost the country.

Not at all. In exit polls they asked people if government was doing too much or too little – which is a fairly good way to separate Left and Right. The “too much” won by eight points. That’s pretty significant.

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “A Famed Political Pundit’s Musical Side: An Interview with Charles Krauthammer”

  1. Steven Greenwald says:

    great guy!!!

  2. Pattie Hull-kahler says:

    Love Krauthammer!

  3. Charles Case says:

    I have always had a great deal of respect for him.

  4. Richard Mitchell says:

    Intelligent man. He would be a great Presidential advisor.

  5. Brian Keill says:

    From The New York Times:

    May All Your Hanukkahs Be White

    The double album “‘Twas the Night Before Hanukkah” highlights the history of Hanukkah in the United States and explores the influence of Jewish songwriters and singers on America’s Christmas canon.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Al Haeche kosher restaurant in Paris had bullet holes through the front window. Dec. 24, 2014.
Parisian Kosher Restaurant Second Anti-Semitic Gun Attack This Week
Latest Indepth Stories
Bill Cosby

It shakes our sense of justice when allegations against a famed role model are covered up or ignored

MK Moshe-Feiglin

Feiglin: Only true liberty will allow us to genuinely connect to our Jewish identity.

Knesset Logo

The silver lining with early elections is the chance to change the current dysfunctional government.

Cohen-122614

The Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland informed the host he could not say “Israel or Jewish state”

It’s fascinating how sources attain the status “traditional,” or its equivalent level of kashrus.

The West needs to ensure Russia understands that aggression comes at a significant cost.

What benefit is a learning experience that leaves kids confused,disillusioned&harms self confidence?

Girlfriend and double cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley apparently was influenced by Islamic extremism.

We see pictures of mosques, monuments for terrorists, illegal schools, and hundreds of apartments being built on Jewish land without repercussions. We are losing Jewish property, so it is up to us to protect it.

Thus, despite the increasingly serious problems for the mayor arising out of the current anti-police protests, Mr. de Blasio apparently will be cut no slack by those who seem to be aiming for a significant role in running the city from the streets and who will do whatever they can to prevent their momentum from ebbing.

Also left unsaid was the fact that the menorah and its oil were in the Beit HaMikdash, which of course was located on Har HaBayit – the Temple Mount that present-day Muslims claim as their own.

Despite strong pressure to throw the book at the accused, Mr. Thompson allowed him to plead guilty to assault.

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

Obama’s comments calling Israeli settlements “unhelpful”are harsher than prior US administrations’

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Joseph Berger 
(Photo: James Estrin)

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

Rav Dov Katz

To many Orthodox Jews the issue is “Permitted & Prohibited;” “Right & Wrong” barely considered,

You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.

Another thing they have been covering up is the nature of the building that was attacked. To this day people refer to it as a consulate or an embassy, but it wasn’t.

The reality is that civility is less important than clarity, and right now only very few people on the Left are interested in having a civil conversation about the merits of particular policy solutions.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/a-famed-political-pundits-musical-side-an-interview-with-charles-krauthammer/2012/11/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: